Tampa Bay hasn't escaped New Orleans' Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a win since 2010.
The Buccaneers fell to 1-4 on the season, squandering a terrific opportunity to get back in contention in the NFC South by dropping a back-and-forth game to the Saints in overtime, 37-31. PewterReport.com looked at each individual unit and graded them based on performance.
Mike Glennon continued to solidify his hold on the starting job with another quality game. There were a few wow moments, but also a handful of plays where the second-year quarterback looked lost and tended to panic, including one third quarter pass that should have been intercepted and looked eerily reminiscent of some of Josh McCown’s ill-advised interceptions earlier this season. Overall, particularly through three quarters, Glennon looked poised and played well. Unfortunately this week Glennon was unable to recapture his fourth-quarter magic from a week ago. Dropped passes and bad penalties didn’t help his cause. The former third-round pick finished 19-of-32 for 239 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Glennon played well enough to win and while Lovie Smith has yet to name him the starter going forward, it appears to be a foregone conclusion at this point.
GRADE = B-
The Saints came into Sunday’s game determined to make Glennon beat them, stacking the box and making running lanes nearly impossible for Tampa Bay’s running backs. Doug Martin led Tampa Bay with 45 yards on 14 carries (3.2 avg.), but 16 of those came on the Bucs’ final play in regulation when the Saints were defending against the pass. Bobby Rainey added 21 on six attempts (3.5 avg.) and scored on a 9-yard touchdown run. Martin, in particular, did a great job in pass protection, helping give Glennon time to find open receivers down the field. The Saints were set up to stop the run, but at some point the collaborative brain trust of coaches and players are going to have to figure out a way to get the ground game respectable – regardless of the defense they are facing.
GRADE = D+
With Mike Evans out, the Buccaneers needed veteran Vincent Jackson to step up and that is exactly what he did. Tampa Bay’s leading receiver over the last two years caught a season-high eight passes for 144 yards. Louis Murphy continues to play well since he was re-signed last week following his release in late August. The St. Pete native had three catches for 35 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown. Even seldom-used Robert Herron got in on the action, hauling in his first career touchdown in the second half from Glennon. Herron did have a critical second-quarter drop that would have been a first down. Because of that drop the Buccaneers had to settle for a 55-yard field goal.
GRADE = B
Austin Seferian-Jenkins had an afternoon to forget, dropping what would have been a first-down pass on Tampa Bay’s first drive of the game, and later committing a costly facemask penalty after getting beat as a blocker. Seferian-Jenkins finished with two drops and an 11-yard catch. Brandon Myers was held off the stat sheet for the first time this season and Luke Stocker also failed to record a catch in the game.
GRADE = D
After a stellar second half in Pittsburgh last week, the Buccaneers offensive line all took turns making critical mistakes. Left tackle Anthony Collins had two penalties on the afternoon, left guard Logan Mankins missed a block that resulted in a safety and had a bad holding call on Tampa Bay’s final possession, and even reliable right tackle Demar Dotson was called for holding in the forgettable fourth quarter. There was another delay of game call and another snap that went awry from center Evan Dietrich-Smith. In addition to the numerous penalties and metal errors, the offensive line also did little to provide holes for Tampa Bay’s running backs. The Bucs didn’t reach 100 yards rushing and averaged just 3.1 yards per carry, a stat that is hard to overcome against any NFL defense. The Saints defense was actually ranked lower than the Buccaneers defense coming into Sunday’s game, and Tampa Bay managed just 311 total yards. The only positive was the fact that Glennon was only sacked once in the game and the line tended to provide a clean pocket for its quarterback.
GRADE = D
After a game in which they limited the Pittsburgh Steelers’ ground game to just 85 yards and recorded five sacks, the Bucs defensive line failed to come close to matching the production of a week ago. The Saints totaled 511 yards of offense and ran for 140 yards (4.8 avg.). There were some standout individual efforts, including left defensive end William Gholston who finished with five tackles, a pass breakup and a tackle for loss. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was a step away from sacking Brees on a number of plays and finished with four tackles, four pressures and two tackles for loss. After a big game a week ago, right defensive end Michael Johnson was held off the stat sheet completely, although he did help force one of Drew Brees’ interceptions with pressure, and nose tackle Clinton McDonald was only credited with one tackle on the afternoon.
GRADE = D
Lavonte David is getting more comfortable with the scheme and it showed on Sunday with a great afternoon of production, as he notched a season-high 14 tackles, two tackles for loss and a pass breakup. Strongside linebacker Danny Lansanah has been a great addition to the starting lineup since taking over for Jonathan Casillas last week. Lansanah finished with a career-high 10 tackles and a interception he returned 33 yards for a touchdown, which was his second of the season. Middle linebacker Dane Fletcher was exploited in pass coverage again this week a few times, but was good against the run most of the afternoon and recorded five tackles. But like the defensive line, the linebackers have to take some responsibility for allowing the Saints offense to roll up 511 yards of offense, including 140 on the ground.
GRADE = C
Like the defensive line and linebackers, there were some solid individual efforts in the secondary. But the unit was part of a defense that still gave up way too many yards through the air, allowing 371 to Drew Brees. Cornerback Alterraun Verner finished with five tackles, his first three pass breakups of the season and one interception to force overtime. Fellow cornerback Johnthan Banks also had an interception of Brees in the game and added five tackles, but had a costly hands to the face penalty in overtime. Safety Mark Barron had one of the better games of his young career, notching nine tackles and adding two pass breakups. For the game the secondary had 11 pass breakups, more than doubling its total through the first four games.
GRADE = C
The puzzling fall of punter Michael Koenen has been a head-scratcher over the last couple weeks and on Sunday the former Falcon averaged just 40.5 yards on four punts. The coverage units did a good job limiting the Saints to just 22.0 yards on kickoff returns. Placekicker Patrick Murray hit his only field goal attempt of the afternoon, booming a 55-yarder to give the Bucs their first points of the game.
GRADE = C+
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya’ll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
Way off on Glennon Grade. It should be an A. He had one interception which clearly showed pass interference from the Saints CB. He had 3-4 dropped passes. The guy played a solid good game.
Agreed. I’ve been critical of Glennon since last season, but he ran the offense and threw the ball well. I heard the number of drops was 5.
At least 5. Mostly Vjax and ASJ. Herron dropped one also. Glennon is completing nearly 70% if you throw out the drops!
Yes Horse, Glennon gets an A.
I understand most of the grades just think the OLine should have gotten an F and the secondary shouldve graded out as maybe a B but thats minor. That said the OLine costed us the game by derailing several drives with both pre and post snap penalties. I dont hold the 5 yard penalty on Banks against him bc it simply was a bad call. The offense lacks continuity and I have to think its bc of the situation at OC, not anyones fault but I can certainly see the pieces in place if they can just clean up some of the technical stuff. Mike Glennon has provided us with the QB play necessary to evaluate other areas bc he is getting the job done. Still not a huge Glennon supporter but I have to admit he has made some nice throws and although hes still not mobile he moves better in the pocket this year. Hopefully we get Foster back on Sunday bc Fletcher missed too many tackles for my liking on SUnday.
I think Glennon played considered he had zero running game to help him out and lets not forget he had some great plays only to be called back cause his bone headed teammates kept making penalties. V-jax game and a few flashes from Murphy got an A for me, the defense has a few bright young players in Lansanah, David, Barron, and McCoy obviousely but we need some corners and another pass rusher with M.Johnson. This Patrick Murray kid is starting to impress me maybe it was a wise decision to cut Barth
Its a losers game to blame officiating, but the refs turned the tide in this game and sealed the deal in the 4th Qtr. Sure we made mistakes, missed tackles and dropped passes, but we played physical and took the lead and momentum. Penalties can be called on every play – unless you played for the Saints Sunday. The second “excessive celebration” penalty and the resulting scoring drive by the Saints was kept alive by penalties. That drive turned the game. Not one holding penalty vs. their O-line. Not one. Watch the game and the jerseys vs. our D-line getting stretched. How about the fumble in the final minute of regulation that was ruled incomplete with no review. The Banks call was the icing on the cake – away from the play and after the ball was thrown. The NFL is too invested in Drew Brees to have the Saints go 1-4. We made our mistakes, but this one goes to the NFL.
Every unit gets an F. They lost. Period.
The coaches get an F minus. They should give back their salaries. 15 penalties. No running game. Cripes. The Bucs are just pathetic losers… yet again. Same result different story line. WEll the bright side is that it was an exciting loss, look at all of the points, what a fun game to watch, they are really coming along. 1 and 4. Out of the playoffs after one game of the second quarter. That is not improvement, that is crap. Well, they will have plenty of time now to scout the draft and pick the wrong players again. They would be better off just putting all of the names on a dartboard and tossing a dart blindfolded. As Gomer Pyle would say, tuuurrrible, just tuuurrrible. The worst team in the league based on expectations, bar none. Move them to Los Angeles, London or Mexico, we don’t need perennial losers here.
Come back and talk to me when they have 10 wins and it will be silent for years.
You take what the defense gives you. That’s what Sean Payton did to us yesterday. We took away the deep ball, he tink, and dunked us down the field. We took away his run game, he got it back by using our agressive D against us. He got his backs the ball anyway with a great screen game. Mean while we kept running up the middle to no avail on first down the whole game. If the defense takes away the run, you throw the ball. Doesn’t mean you stop running,you just do it more when they don’t expect it. Like Payton did to us. Hope Tedford can come back soon, the difference in play calling yesterday was obvious.
What a terrible loss. Need to look for a new punter as Koenen has lost his leg. This team has major problems, will need two or three more GOOD drafts to get this team competitive. We should have not lost to a below average Saints team playing without their best TE.
and we haven’t played a good team yet.
I said a few weeks ago that it takes time for these guys to learn the new systems. Some of the elements of the defense are starting to come together (LVD, Barron) Glennon continues to show improvement. But there is still a long way to go before this is a good team.
Glennon’s and the Defensive line ratings are too low. Brees turnovers were all because of pressure. Not a lot of sacks, but good pressure all day. Glennon played better than B-.
Also, the +/- ratings are dumb. Just do A, B, C, D, and F.
I don’t think anyone has been a bigger critic of Glennon than myself but he earned a good grade this week and I can tell he has been getting great coaching from Josh. He is working hard to improve his game, and he has earned the right to start so we can see just how far he can improve and whether we need to draft a new QB.
Quit dugging up the middle for 2 yards on first down or any down.Rainey will break a big one more likely.
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